The Pillars of Retention, Pt. 2

March 1, 2020

These pillars are all about supporting and fostering the talent that's in your shop.

In our last article, we began discussing the seven key pillars that you can use to understand what the average millennial employee needs from a workplace to be successful. If you understand and put these into place, you will see retaining them becomes much easier. 

We discussed relationships, keeping them challenged and being flexible in the last issue. What changes do you make this past month? Did you see an improvement in productivity and morale? This month, we will go over the four most important pillars in retaining and getting the most out of this talent.

Give regular positive feedback. 

These employees have grown up most of their life hearing that they were special, they could be anything and they could go anywhere. They don’t have to earn the trophy, because they can get one just for playing. They can have all of this just because they want it and we should give it to them.

Then real life hit them square in the face. There are expectations of an older generation that they just don’t understand. This is because they have failed to build meaningful relationships outside of technology. They don’t have to awkwardly learn dating when they can just swipe left or right. It was all easy. 

So, when it is no longer just easy and given to them, they get depressed easily. Most employers expect them to work for the raise or promotion that they want. They expect to be thanked for just doing their job. In a survey conducted a few years ago, 60 percent of millennials expect to be praised at least once a day. Some 38 percent expected it to be done two to three times a day. So, as managers, we need to recognize that need and say, “Good job” and pat them on the back once or twice a day when you see them doing good things. The more that you can make them feel special, the higher likelihood that you will be able to get the most out of them.

Embrace their ideas. 

These employees will be bringing years of experience with technology. They find faster ways to make processes go. They are generally looking to find ways to make things easier and maximize their social time. 

When they come to you with an idea, listen before you dismiss. As an independent owner or operator, this insight could be valuable to your business. They tend to be innovative and challenge processes unlike older generations that just stayed in their lane. By listening and trying some of these, you will build their confidence and loyalty to you and your business.

They are driven by their values.

Net net, if your company values do not meet their own, 56 percent of them will leave a job to find one that does. Remember that 2.6 years on average at a job? So, during your interview process, ask them what drives and motivates them daily on a job. Where are they looking to be in three to five years? Then tell them your company values. 

They are already in your business and what drives you. If they match in the interview, odds are better that they will be a valuable tool in your bag.

Be a Coach.

This is the absolute most important of these seven pillars. They are looking for an older mentor to teach them. They will embrace this person if you are treating them in a respectful manner.

Employees, in any generation, do not quit jobs, they quit people. You need to morph from a “manager” that just gives orders to a teaching method. They will want to know all about the task prior to doing it, as they do not like to risk failure. 

Take the time to show them, teach them and then follow up with a “good job” when it’s right. Our biggest issue is this area of management as 33 percent of operation leaders are disinterested in doing this, preferring to hire the talent already trained. 

I have participated in several conventions over the last few years with learning sessions just on millennials. There is a disconnect with how to connect with this new generation of customer. How do we get their attention on their phones and emails? How do we keep them loyal to our brand and service? 

But we also need to focus on how we can use this generation to fuel your business going into the future as your employee. I hope that you will take something from these pillars that will open your eyes to managing these talented people in your shops.

About the Author

Adam Tatum

Adam Tatum is the Director of Operations for Virginia Lubes, a Jiffy Lube franchisee with 11 locations. He has over a decade of experience in the industry with a proven track record of building customer counts and sales, as well as using innovative ways to bring a new look to the automotive field for both the customer and the employee.  Performance comes from growing your business through people.

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